Episode #34 Who Do You Trust?
Original Airdate - May 13th, 2012
The Avengers are torn apart when Nick Fury returns and reveals that the shapeshifting alien Skrulls have begun infiltrating Earth. The situation becomes worse when they learn a Skrull lurks within the Avengers.

Written by Brian Reed
Directed by Gary Hartle
Review by RoyalRubble
Media by Marvel Animation Age

This episode was excellent. The Avengers learn about the Skrulls' invasion plans and that one of them has infiltrated their team, masquerading as one of their friends. Not knowing who is really the undercover Skrull agent, the Avengers realize they cannot trust anyone anymore. This leads to some very intense scenes and a very sad ending. The build-up to this event was executed perfectly, and this episode didn't disappoint. It would have been more interesting if we, the viewers, wouldn't know who the Skrull was either. That probably would have made the episode better, but even so it was a superb addition to the secret invasion story-arc that has been present throughout the show. It also adds a nice explanation as to why Nick Fury has been absent for such a long time, and what he's been up to. Nice to see Black Widow and Mockingbird again, and we are introduced to Quake. I've never heard of her before, but she seems pretty cool I guess. She didn't really get to do that much in this episode, other than lure the Griffin into fighting the Avengers.

Really liked seeing the Avengers during their downtime, out of costume and just hanging out in a diner, also celebrating Ms. Marvel's arrival on the team. It was so great seeing them enjoy spending time together, not only when fighting supervillains and stuff. It's something we never really got to see on the show until now. I guess the closest we got was in the season premiere "The Private War of Dr. Doom", where the Avengers and the Fantastic Four have a friendly game of cards, but this was different. This time, they are all members on the same team, and they have known each other for a while. And more importantly, they think they can trust each other as well. Which makes the second half of this episode have an even bigger impact. Their interactions were great; really liked how they pointed out that Carol was a higher rank than both Captain America and Hawkeye. And then, Carol as Ms. Marvel is the one sent to fight the Griffin as some sort of "initiation test". It was hilarious seeing how Hawkeye and Wasp just stand aside and watch Carol fight, telling her what she's doing wrong. Another fun moment is seeing how Black Panther and the Hulk spend time together back at the Avengers Mansion.

Undoubtedly the best part of this episode is seeing the Avengers reactions when they learn about the Skrulls. Hawkeye is the first one they suspect of being a Skrull, by both Nick Fury and Iron Man. Tony at first doesn't want to believe any of this, and tries to defend Hawkeye in front of Nick Fury, but soon realizes he might be right, and that there's really no way of knowing for sure. The characterizations in this episode are perfect. Hawkeye has been accused of being a traitor before, back in season one, and he's obviously not going to stand for this again. Ms. Marvel is just doing her job, she has to take Hawkeye to SWORD headquarters, to determine if he really is an alien. The Hulk stands up and defends Hawkeye. Black Panther is probably the most logical one, who mentions that anyone of them could be a Skrull, going so far as suspecting even Ant-Man, based on his recent behavior and referring to the events from the Ultron story-arc from the previous season; he then decides to leave the team without saying anything, though I believe he is the most likely one to figure out who the real Skrull is before any of the others. Wasp is desperately trying to keep the team together, but without success. After a little fight among the Avengers, Iron Man decides to disband the team, thinking he can no longer count on any of them. Ms. Marvel also leaves, returning to SWORD, and her mentioning that this was supposed to be her welcome party to the Avengers, just makes this episode's ending sadder. The fake Captain America, the real reason for all that happened here has a speech that sounded like something the real Cap would say. He decides to lead the remaining Avengers against all future threats, and Hawkeye, Hulk and Wasp agree. The final moments, showing Black Panther back in Wakanda, Ms. Marvel back on the SWORD ship and Iron Man alone in his office were very effective.

So the Skrulls' invasion continues as planned, apparently. I wonder what the fake Cap is planning to do with his new Avengers team though. And the ending was completely unexpected. I never would have guessed Mockingbird was also a Skrull in disguise. And not just any Skrull, but their Queen. I guess she replaced Mockingbird during season one's "Widow's Sting" episode, when we had our first glimpse at the Skrulls. Back then we learned Viper was a Skrull, but didn't even think Mockingbird could also be one and just play along until the time is right to strike. Her explanation seen in this episode, about how she discovered Viper is a Skrull is a pretty good cover story. Though I suppose Nick Fury could and will eventually realize she is also an alien and be prepared for such an occasion. I do wonder who else might be a Skrull; we knew about Cap and the Invisible Woman, and now we know there's at least one Skrull infiltrated in SHIELD as well. And of course, what exactly are their plans and how they will unfold.

To summarize, this episode was awesome. This show is awesome. Seeing the team we got to know so well over the course of an entire season break up is just tragic. I know it probably will take a while, but the team will get back together, possibly even recruiting new members. They just have to. But for now, we have a small team of superheroes who don't even know they are being lead by an enemy. Not to mention the Skrulls that have infiltrated other superhero teams we don't even know about yet. Things look pretty bad for the Avengers, and I can't wait to see what happens next.

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